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Curse of the Hidden Mirror

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Album Review

Long Island's favorite metal-lite purveyors continued their comeback in 2001 with this unexpectedly accomplished set of new songs. Boasting the core of the original band with Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, Eric Bloom, and Alan Lanier, Curse of the Hidden Mirror stays rooted in the group's tough yet jangly approach but ups the ante with strong material that often matches, yet doesn't quite surpass, the band's best music. A return to the stylistic triumph of Agents of Fortune and the similarly titled Mirrors, the revived quintet coalesces around sharp riff-based rockers that show a band that has matured but hasn't lost its cosmic edge. Simplistic rockers like "Here Comes That Feeling" float on a fluently melodic bed, and when they slip into ballad mode, as in "Out of the Darkness," it's done without an ounce of pretension. Even the tougher rockers like "Good to Feel Hungry" and "Stone of Love" — the latter co-penned by R. Meltzer (who worked with them in the '80s) and one of this album's highlights, a song as good as anything they've ever written — never slip into either stiffness or, worse, self-parody. Roeser keeps his solos on low burn, never overstaying his welcome, and vocalist Bloom doesn't force his still-smooth voice, belying his age (early fifties) and veteran status. The opening tuneful rocker "Dance on Stilts" could easily fit on either one of the group's classic first four studio albums, as could the appropriately titled "One Step Ahead of the Devil," which is a high compliment indeed. In fact, except for a few slips on the simplistic "I Just Want to Be Bad," a track that's as bland as it sounds, Curse of the Hidden Mirror is a remarkably consistent, subtle, and even poetic album that expands their sci-fi undercurrents without getting lost in space. It's far better than some of the group's limp late-'80s work and stands as one of the finest albums of their nearly three decade — and counting — career of evil.

Customer Reviews

A great album all around!

As a longtime fan of BOC, this release feels just like old times. Catchy tunes, occultish/Lovecraftian themes, solid hard rock sound. * Stone of Love, Showtime, Out of the Darkness, Eye of the Hurricane & Good to Feel Hungry are all vintage BOC type songs - great guitars, funky lyrics, catchy songs you'll find yourself humming. * Dance on Stilts & Pocket are kinda playful, not common for these guys, but great tunes. They really stand out as commercial possibilities - I think Pocket did get some radio airplay. * Old Gods Return, One Step Ahead of the Devil, I Just Like to Be Bad, Here Comes That Feeling are the weaker tracks. Nothing bad about them, but they don't quite have the same impact as the rest. That said, I really enjoy this CD, both as a rocker in general and as a BOC fan. If you liked "Fire of Unknown Origin", this CD is just as approachable. If you like the really old BOC (first four albums), I think you'll find that same BOC vibe, both musically and lyrically, is here. A bit more polished than the old days to be sure, but these guys have learned some things over the years and it all sounds great!

Dance On Stilts!

Very good outing for Buck's guitar work.

Arguably one of BOC best works

Solid album here.
Dance on stilts tops the list.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Blue Öyster Cult was the thinking man's heavy metal group. Put together on a college campus by a couple of rock critics, it maintained a close relationship with a series of literary figures (often in the fields of science fiction and horror), including Eric Von Lustbader, Patti Smith, Michael Moorcock, and Stephen King, while turning out some of the more listenable metal music of the early and mid-'70s. The band that became Blue Öyster Cult was organized in 1967 at Stony Brook College on Long Island...
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